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California 6, U.s. 3, Victoria 3, Rick 2, Jamie Colby 2, Us 2, Apple 2, Washington 2, Morgan 2, Wal-mart 2, Israel 2, John 2, Associates 1, Sears 1, Apm 1, Air Bus 1, Unionize Wal-mart 1, Misconnection 1, Cashin 1, Jeffrey Immelt 1,
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  FOX News    Forbes on FOX    News/Business. Financial analysts  
   offer advice on the markets. New. (CC)  

    November 17, 2012
    8:00 - 8:30am PST  

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with the name for business news, anything business news, it's fox. here is dave: a battle is eruptin big labor and the nation's biggest private employer over black thursday. unions urging on wal-mart workers to walk out overt retailers' plan to open its doors on thanksgiving day. some say it could end up leaving holiday shoppers in the lurch and keep our economy in the ditch. are they right? welcome it forbes on fox. let's go in focus with steve forbes, elizabeth mcdonnel, victoria, john and morgan. good to have you all here. steve, unions putting their self interest ahead of shoppers and our economy? >> absolutely. they're still angry they haven't organized wal-mart yet. they're responding to competition and the needs of customers. that's what you're supposed to do in a free market. no one forces people to work at
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wal-mart. unions don't like the fact they haven't organized wal-mart. >> rick, these folks are getting paid overtime for working on thursday, right? >> yeah. let's keep in mind what this is about. it's really a one had day convenient. it's probably fair tore characterize it as a row test, a little bit more than a strike. not about wages or benefits. about work conditions, mostly in inland california area where they've had big problems with people working in way overheated warehouses, equipment that's not safe. this is what this is about. they've got a problem there. >> what the unions are doing, and again, wal-mart is not unionized, but the unions want the workers to walk out, they're focusing on this extra work that they have to do on thanksgiving pay, for which, by the way, they're paid double time and get all sorts of bonuses. >> yeah. wal-mart is facing a number of protests across the country. not just for overtime. there has been a push to unionize wal-mart. the real issue is that wal-mart hires a lot of people from the grocery industry where they actually get paid less, they get less in the way of health
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benefits, and that's why you saw pass mark and others go out of business because they were running their business models right, employees were worst served than wal-mart serves their own employees. i'm not advocating for wal-mart. it will be a pipe dream to unionize wal-mart because you have to do it from store to store. >> the point is that times are tough and when times are tough, you have to do things, you have to work overtime. sometimes you have to work on holidays in order to get that extra pay. whether you're a worker or the company, right? >> the truth is the unions wouldn't be there if there wasn't a need for them. wal-mart for years has been rife with labor allegations. recent example out in illinois warehouse where workers filed charges on sexual harassment, poor work conditions, unpaid wages. this is an issue we've heard about, these allegations we've heard about for years. i think this is just a manifestation of that at a time where it's going to make a dent.
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>> john, a lot of other companies are doing this. toys r us is opening at the same time on thanksgiving, sears opening same time on thanksgiving. apm, target is opening a little later, 9 p.m they need to do this in order to bring in the revenue. these are companies that are hurting, right? >> yeah. businesses are in business for profit. hear morgan and rick, you would think they're exploiting their employees, but the reality is every time a wal-mart opens, big, big lines of people wanting to work there. so i think it's the opposite of what they say. they're getting paid double time. i think this is just an example of unions who are increasingly irrelevant in the private sector looking for attention on a day in which they'll get it. >> victim tore y what do you want to do? do folks who are against what wal-mart is doing, do they want to outlaw work on holidays? >> i'd like to. i think it sounds awful. i think shopping on thanksgiving evening is awful.
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>> sometimes you have to do awful things in order to pay the rent, right? >> be at home and have some apple pie, you know. [ laughter ] look, the issue here is that we have an awful labor market. so although these workers may be offered bonus times, double pay, there is not a lot of choice in the labor market. so they might not be forced to do this, but essentially they are because they can't get job elsewhere. that's the real shame here. that's why the unions are getting excited about potentially getting -- >> steve, the point is that what do we want to do about this? do we want to become like france that has all these laws that prohibit what companies can and cannot do with their work force? we see how that's turning out in europe. >> unless you want to outlaw doing commerce on thanksgiving. if a store wants to open early because folks like to get there at 8 instead of midnight, let them do it. you're serving the needs of other people. that's how you stay in business. this economy is tight.
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it's getting tighter. stores are going to trying it get as much as they can and encourage commerce. so why not let them do it? >> hold on. i want to read the wal-mart statement. they have addressed this. they athis is just another exaggerated publicity campaign aimed at generating headlines to mislead our customers and associates. we have more than a million associates working throughout the holiday weekend and they're excited about our black friday plans. this is the super bowl for retailers and we are ready. again, morgan, we don't like to work on thanksgiving, but sometimes we have to work on thanksgiving. >> it's not about working on thanksgiving. >> that's what the unions say it is. >> it's about labor conditions andment truth is, all you have to look at is the fact it's wal-mart employees that are walking out. it's not happening at other big box retailers. >> hold on of the retail sales were down in october. they have to do something to increase the bottom line here. that is the point. >> they're using the thanksgiving work hours as an excuse to protest.
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that's a fact. listen -- >> unions are. >> listen, the grocery stores were unionized, remember that. grocery stores are unionized. remember that, and they -- the workers went from there to wal-mart to get better pay and benefits. also we saw this with hostess and going bankrupt. the unions protesting there. what's going to be next? you going on a unionize kohl's or target? that's what the union movement wants. >> rick, sometimes the unions maybe they say they have the best interest of the workers at heart, but sometimes it leads to closing a company. look what happened at hostess. look what happened in american airlines where the union protests led to the companies either shutting down or going into bankruptcy. >> let's talk about hostess. this is a misconnection. no sales associates at wal-mart are going out on strike, period, end of story. >> you're talking about cashiers -- >> they're not going on strike. >> yes, they are, rick. there are a dozen protests -- the fact -- >> hang on. there are a dozen protests across the country and strikes
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breaking out. hang on. there have been strikes breaking out -- >> they're warehouse workers. >> the fact remains that wal-mart has said to fox business and to "forbes" magazine, there have been unionized attempts since 1997 going on across the country and they have been -- we're talking about -- >> we want to bring it out and go to john. >> if you want to make it worse for workers, make it more difficult for businesses to do what's profitable and that includes working on holidays. that will drive down wages and make us worse off. let businesses alone. let them do what they want. >> morgan? >> it's not about working on holidays. at the end of the day it's not about profits because wal-mart brings in more than $16 billion a year in profits. this is about labor conditions. these strikes have been going on for several weeks. >> to you. >> morgan makes a good point. wal-mart announced great profits, but this looks bad for wal-mart. it just looks bad. they need to address their labor
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conditions across the board. they've got a lot better about it. i know liz, you've written about that. >> it may look bad for wal-mart, victoria, but shoppers love this thing, particularly the sales that they're having. they're having these one hour sales which they practically can give stuff away. shoppers -- hold on -- shoppers love this stuff and wal-mart is competing heavily against the internet. isn't that what this is mostly about, victoria? >> yeah. wal-mart -- that's a great point. but wal-mart is also on the internet. so they need to improve their strategy there. >> wal-mart is also in cityies like burlington, vermont, which loves it because it turns into a shopping hub and created economic growth in battered regions. >> again, it's the poor people that usually benefit the most from these sales. we've got to keep that in mind. coming up next, taxpayers in the u.s. hoping lawmakers strike a deal on the fiscal cliff. but we're going to tell you why workers overseas are hoping they don't. right after this message.
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>> fox news alert. i'm jamie colby. new fears that a ground war between israel and hamas militants could be imminent at this hour. the israeli military is calling upon thousands of reservists launching air strikes aimed at government and police compounds and smuggling tunnels in the gaza strip. it follows hundreds of rocket attacks from gaza, including one that you see here intercepted a short time ago in tel aviv. look at the spot shadow. israelis so relieved, they broke out in cheers when the rocket was destroyed. it's just one of dozens of rockets that were fired into israel today. also we're continuing to follow the coast guard searching for two workers that are missing after a fire erupted on an oil platform in the gulf of mexico. flames broke out as workers were using a torch to cut an oil line. least four workers hospitalized suffering from critical injuries. i'm jamie colby. see you at 1:00 p.m. eastern. now back to forbes on fox only
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on the fox news channel. >> getting hit with higher taxes is not the only threat of going over the fiscal cliff. energy companies and others warning that when their taxes go up, they're going to have to start shipping their jobs overseas. you say they're right. >> the corporate tax rate, when you count state, local and federal, is around 60%. what's happening is companies have to compete against companies from germany or sweden, or canada where the corporate rate there is now 15%. what we're talking about essentially is even the president's own jobs council led by jeffrey immelt and the advisor board and sim so much bowles said lower the corporate rate. the president agreed to that. when you have a high tax rate, that invites all sorts of cronyism where congress throws in loopholes to favor their political cronies at companies that donate to them. >> morgan, the president has said he wants to lower the
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corporate tax rate down to 28%, but even at 28%, it is above all the others, maybe with the exception of spain. >> i don't think taxes alone are the reason that companies are going to offshore or even going to offshore jobs in the next year or two. i think we're seeing an interesting trend of companies that are in shoring jobs now. >> bringing them back is this. >> bringing them back home, including general electric, ford motors, air bus, google. i think we're going to see more of this regardless of the tax situation. boston consulting group said overt next decade we'll see as many as 5 million manufacturing jobs come back. >> steve, isn't it very simple? companies will go to where they get paid the most and where they have to pay the least in order to do their business, right? >> david, taxes are a cost of doing business. capital goes where it's welcome. capital stays where it's well treated. if the united states becomes seen as hostile to capital, we may get some things back, but
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not near the prosperity we should have. make it friendly to business and business will respond, including businesses that don't even exist today. they'll spring up. >> rick? >> it's very interesting. most of the chatter that i'm hearing out of washington is really focusing more on reducing the corporate tax rates. david, as you pointed out, the president is supporting that idea. look, i only hear one sector really complaining right now about this and that's the energy sector. they're not worrying about their taxes going up. they're worrying about their subsidies being cut. they're using it as a piece of blackmail to say may, if you cut our subsidy, we're going to move jobs. you know what? enough already. you can afford to do -- >> there were other companies. the problem is there are a lot of other companies worried about this. one of which is apple which has about $120 billion, about half of that money is overseas where it's not doing us any good. >> david, i think you just hit the nail on the head. that's the biggest problem is the repatriation of earnings of u.s. subsidiaries overseas. they're keeping that cash there
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because we're one of the very few countries that does double taxation of profits. first they get taxed overseas and then we tax them again when they get here. most countries don't do that. that, i think, is a very serious problem and it's a job killer here in the united states. >> so victoria, that just shows once again that our tax code needs to be overhauled. just tremendous. there are so many problems with it that are keeping our economy down right now. >> absolutely. the apple example is fascinating because it shows what has evolved. really the last decade, this isn't a totally recent phenomenon where you get large companies like apple doing these artful, perfectly legal tax dodges, moving headquarters overseas. we've seen something like 50 of large multi national companies that were based in the u.s. ten years ago, no longer based here now. that's purely a tax move. yet you get medium and small size businesses, they can't pull off stuff like that. so we're at a two-tier system. it hurts jobs, it hurts business
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creation. >> so rick you thinker, you would agree, because you're a sensible guy, that we need to overhaul our tax code. it is hopelessly complex right now. maybe this is a moment when some kind of agreement could be made to make it simpler and better. >> because i am a sensible guy, i certainly would agree. i absolutely would. it's how you overhaul it. >> is rick sensible? >> you have to overhaul it in a way that's fair for everybody. >> but you have to overhaul it, steve n a way that gets the economy cooking again. fairness sometimes is not all as important because it doesn't turn out the way politicians want, it never does -- as getting the economy moving again. that's our top priority, is it not? >> it is the top priority. the way do you it is totally declutter the code. put in something like a flat tax, same thing for business where you make a capital investment, write it off in the year in which you make it, low rates to 15 or 17%, that's fair to everybody because one, takes people off the tax rolls of low
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income and creates more jobs, more opportunity. what's not to like except politicians -- >> whoa, whoa. morgan, go ahead. >> i actually think that sounds lovely. i'm all for it. >> here is the problem, who are we entrust to go reform the tax code? charlie rangel and harry reid? it's like putting the cat among the pigeons. it's the pork reason. >> somebody should put e mac in charge. if you think the fiscal cliff tax hikes are bad, wait 'til you hear about al gore's tax plan to tackle what he's calling the climate cliff. that's at the bottom of the hour on "cashin' in." first, a new government plan letting voters decide how to spend their own tax dollars. it sounds good, right? wrong. the flip side is next i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time r christmas? yeah, sure you can. great.
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>> giving power to the people, letting taxpayers vote on how it search their own money. some say that's a bad idea. that's the flip side. also, stocks are selling s.
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>> the government forces you to pay for its services, so shouldn't you have a little more control over how your money is spent? the once bankrupt city of ayaho, california decide to go let its taxpayers vote how to spend 30% of its budget. but victoria says this is a bad idea. this is a flip side. explain. >> i know. it's hard because truly we don't trust our politicians to do the right things 'cause they haven't done the right things in the past. however, i think that is their job. we should hold them accountable and there should be transparency. what we've seen in the state of california is really a grand experiment in voter democracy. it has failed. we have the highest tax rates in the nation and yet our school funding is bottom of the barrel and our schools rank bottom in the nation.
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so this kind of -- it doesn't work. you have to have accountability somewhere and it should be in our elected officials. >> rick used to live in california. now he lives in new york. is it because of this, rick? >> actually no. it's because of you, david. [ laughter ] >> right. >> i actually agree with victoria on the point that voter democracy has not paid off very well in california. but this is a bit difference. we're taking a very small part of the city budget. these people aren't going to be making decisions on where to buy their water and things like that. they're taking a small part of the budget and saying okay. voters, you decide what we should do with this, if off community project. i think it's good experiment. i like the idea of people getting together and doing something. >> michael saying it's our money for goodness sakes. shouldn't we have more control over how it's spent? >> first of all, we should give them much less of our money. that's number one. >> true. agreed. >> i agree with victoria. i think it would be far too chaotic. sort of like in football, everybody in the huddle trying call the play.
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you need one person to call it, the person who is elected to be in charge. if you don't like the job that person is doing, replace him and look, there are council meetings, all sorts of meetings during the course of the month where people can voice their opinion and speak directly to the local politicians. that's where i think this should be done. >> steve, i know we're representative government, i get that part. but the representatives haven't been doing a great job of spending our money, have they? >> no. and if the citizens want to show they can do a worse job, they should be allowed to do so on a local basis. but david, i think the real referendum should take place in real voting should takes place on big projects like crony capitalism projects, or stadium projects that no one would approve of was put on the ballot. >> john? >> i used to live in california, too, although not near rick. i'll say here, you want the chaos. you want it to be local because if individuals don't like how money is being spent locally, they can move next door. the problem now is so much money
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spent on a federal level, which essentially imprisons us all under a major spending regime, bring it back to the states and cities so people can make choices. >> rick, maybe if we did that, we wouldn't have the solyndras. >> what in the world does solyndra have to do with people in vallejo, california? >> misspending our money! >> boy oh, boy, we can bring this around. i'm fascinated that you could do that. this is about people coming together to decide on some community projects, with a tiny piece of the city's budget. let's not make it more than it is. it's an interesting experiment. let them try it. if it turns into a mess, they would not do it again. >> the point is when local people have control of the way their money is spent locally, they're much better at administratorring it than the people in the state house or in washington. >> yeah. but that's not what we're talking about really. the issue in vallejo is should a community be in charge of a portion of the budget?
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and my answer is no. this is a city that's emerging out of bankruptcy. they need to make very practical decisions. i think when you get a group of people in the room, they're not necessarily going to make the most practical, long-term decisions. they're going to think about what they want for their neighborhood, which isn't what vallejo should be doing, this one of those times when i think i'm more in agreement with rick. thank you. coming up, stocks falling since election day, in part over fears that dc is going to let us fall off the fiscal cliff. our informers say they have the names that won't get hit by the cliff. get your pen and paper ready. that's next. scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the marke he goes with people he trusts, which is why he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime him with hidden fees. so he can worry about other things, like what the market is doing and being ready, no matter what happens, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense, from td ameritrade.
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>> we're back with the stocks are. they say they won't go over the fiscal cliff. e mac real estate. >> great tenants like cvs, walgreen's and fed-ex. >> morgan? >> with dividend taxes, i'd be wary. >> you like apple, but it's way down. >> i do. i'm going against the bears right now. i'm saying buy on the dip for a long-term investment. >> what do you think? >> talking about peak apple right now, i